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Hugo II – the Gap Week Chronicles

Last updated on Juni 13, 2022

A year after my visit to Porto I came to see Hugo again: he took a gap week and came to stay with me in Münster for a couple of days. I can definitely recommend him as a guest: very easy going and good natured, happily cycling all across town, always in for a chat or a piece of cake. Hugo’s blog post about his gap week can be found here (in Portuguese), and he has written about it in English on LinkedIn, as well.

Hugo came along to a citizens and stakeholder workshop on a Saturday. And I more than enjoyed his feedback and, generally, to reflect about the workshop with him. The workshop was in the little town of Telgte. It was the continuation of a participatory city planning process which got stuck in late 2021, due to Covid. Hugo was content that everyone welcomed him warmly, and the people of Telgte were proud that somebody from as far away as Portugal was interested in what was happening in their little town.

People were expected to pick a project which they would then help bring to life. The projects themselves had been developed during the first workshop day. The participants went through a Disney-like four step process. Hugo made me realize how special it was that everyone was enthusiastically collaborating. No resistance against methodology, no obstruction by politicians who needed to show their faces. He made me see the beauty of the process design, which didn’t just give people a choice to decide if a certain amount of money would go to project A or B, but which allowed them to define their needs and what exactly they wanted to see changed or created.

When we didn’t talk job and business, he would happily type away on the garden terrace, or blend into the family at Sunday’s breakfast with his quick wits and wonderful sense of humour. 

Welcome back any time! We will always have a place for you Hugo.

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